Item: The Spiegelau IPA Glass
Price: $24.90 for a set of two
Overall Impression: A fun splurge for hopheads and beer geeks
You know a beer has made the big time when it gets its very own glass. There are slender pilsner glasses, snifters for your quads and barleywines, and now a specially-designed glass to maximize the hop-tastic experience of drinking your favorite IPA. Pint glasses and beer steins are so yesterday, people.
Characteristics and Specs: A slender glass made of thin quartz silica with a rippled gripping base and a bulb-shaped top. Specifically designed for American IPAs.
Favorite details: I thought this glass looked a little odd and overly-contrived when I first unpacked it from the box, but it looks surprisingly stunning when filled with an IPA. Just pouring the beer in this glass felt like it elevated it to something I would feel happy serving at a fancy dinner party alongside a fine wine.
Potential problems: Feels delicate. Be careful when washing or when toasting with beer drinking friends.
Good for small kitchens? Sure!
The glassware experts at Spiegelau teamed up with American IPA experts Sam Calagione of Dogfish Head and Ken Grossman at Sierra Nevada to craft this special glass. The ripples in the bottom of the glass are intended to aerate the beer as you drink, helping to maintain the head after pouring and giving you a burst of aroma with every sip. The bulb-shaped top also concentrates those aromas, and the thin glass is intended to keep the beer at the perfect temperature.
I was a skeptic when first presented with this glass, but tasting the same beer side-by-side, one poured in the Spiegelau glass and the other poured in a regular pint glass, convinced me of its merits. The Spiegelau glass delivered more aroma, hands down. A thin head remained all the way down to the bottom of the glass and every time I stuck my nose in there to take a sip, it was aroma central. And since aroma is a huge part of flavor, as we know, and since you inhale every time you drink, the overall drinking experience was richer and more flavorful. No joke.
By comparison, sips from the pint glass left me sad and wanting after trying the Spiegelau. Once the initial burst of aroma from pouring the beer had dissipated, I was left with very little. The beer still tasted good (I mean...I still drank it!), but it tasted duller and less interesting.
Do you have to drink an IPA from a fancy glass? Of course not. But if you're a beer geek who loves a good IPA, I guarantee that drinking it from one of these glasses will change the experience — and change it for the better.
Related: Do Good Wine Glasses Really Matter? 7 Factors Affecting How a Wine Glass Works
Apartment Therapy Media makes every effort to test and review products fairly and transparently. The views expressed in this review are the personal views of the reviewer and this particular product review was not sponsored or paid for in any way by the manufacturer or an agent working on their behalf. However, the manufacturer did give us the product for testing and review purposes.
(Images: Emma Christensen)